WORSHIP & PRAISE
Recently, we ended our local Bible class with this question: Does God "need" our affections? Technically, I guess we can say God needs nothing from us, because He is able to do all things, with or without us. What basically was said was, "the Lord doesn't need it" (our affection), while some in the class were verbally sharing how "blessed God is when we do adore Him with our praise". What was meant by the former statement was: if God has total ownership of us, (i.e.) if we have totally and/or completely yielded ourselves over to Him, we then would automatically show Him our love and affection. However, on an emotional level, my question is, does the Lord "desire" our affection? Are such desires existent with God? I suppose my question goes beyond, does He need it, to does He "want" or "desire" it? I say "yes", He does. Let's check out His word on this subject:
Throughout God's word, again and again, He calls for the praises of His people:
This next verse says that "forever and ever" we will show Him our affection (does not "forever" mean ... even in our perfected, and completely committed to Him state, when with Him in Heaven)? Let's face it ... Heaven is "forever". If we are to continue to worship Him throughout eternity, then truly, to worship Him must be something that He is blessed by.
All Your works shall praise You, O Lord, and Your loving ones shall bless You [affectionately and gratefully shall Your saints confess and praise You]! My mouth shall speak the praise of the Lord; and let all flesh bless (affectionately and gratefully praise) His holy name forever and ever. (Psalm 145:10, 21).
Even worship through "musical instruments" bless Him. If not, why does His word instruct us to worship Him in such manner:
It is a good and delightful thing to give thanks to the Lord, to sing praises [with musical accompaniment] to Your name, O Most High, (Psalm 92:1, Amplified Bible).
And: Sing to the Lord with thanksgiving; sing praises with the harp or the lyre to our God! ... Who covers the heavens with clouds, Who prepares rain for the earth, Who makes grass to grow on the mountains. He gives to the beast his food, and to the young ravens that for which they cry. He delights not in the strength of the horse, nor does He take pleasure in the legs of a man. The Lord takes pleasure in those who reverently and worshipfully fear Him, in those who hope in His mercy and loving-kindness. (Psalms 147:7-11).
Our group gathers on worship night, each week. Our reason? Is it not to worship the Lord? To honor Him? To touch Him? To bless Him? Why? If our praises don't reach His heart, and bless Him, why do we do it? Does He desire ... does He long for ... and yes, does He even need our affection? It is apparent from scripture, He is both blessed by, and blesses those who do so ... those who worship Him:
Verse 11 shows, He takes pleasure in those who place their hope and trust in Him, those who belong to Him (those who reverently and worshipfully fear Him, and have their hope in Him). Also, the Lord Himself says, when we praise Him, we honor and glorify Him:
He who brings an offering of praise and thanksgiving honors and glorifies Me; and he who orders his way aright [who prepares the way that I may show him], to him I will demonstrate the salvation of God. (Psalm 50:23, Amplified Bible).
Is God emotional? Since He rejoices, and Himself, even sings ... I say yes, He is. To show you what an "emotional" God we serve, let's look at Zep 3:17:
The LORD thy God in the midst of thee [is] mighty; he will save, he will rejoice over thee with joy; he will rest in his love, he will joy over thee with singing. (Zep 3:17, KJV)
And, from the Amplified Bible:
The Lord your God is in the midst of you, a Mighty One, a Savior [Who saves]! He will rejoice over you with joy; He will rest [in silent satisfaction] and in His love He will be silent and make no mention [of past sins, or even recall them]; He will exult over you with singing. (Zep 3:17, Amplified Bible).
The Lord Himself will "rejoice" (Heb: display joy, exult, rejoice, be glad) over us with "joy" (Heb: gladness, joy, gaiety, pleasure). He will "exult" (Heb: rejoice, be glad, joyful, have joy, delight over us). With"singing" (Heb: rejoicing, joy, gladness, shouting, ringing cry, in proclamation, joy, praise).shouts over us. Does He need our shouts ... our praises? One can only wonder. This we do know ... He definitely takes pleasure in and delights in such praise. Let's read Psalm 150 (from the Amplified Bible)!
1. PRAISE THE Lord! Praise God in His sanctuary; praise Him in the heavens of His power!
2. Praise Him for His mighty acts; praise Him according to the abundance of His greatness!
3. Praise Him with trumpet sound; praise Him with lute and harp!
4. Praise Him with tambourine and [single or group] dance; praise Him with stringed and wind instruments or flutes!
5. Praise Him with resounding cymbals; praise Him with loud clashing cymbals!
6. Let everything that has breath and every breath of life praise the Lord! Praise the Lord! (Hallelujah!) I conclude, that we truly do bless the Lord, and greatly touch His heart when we worship and praise Him. After all, He inhabits the praises of His people:
But thou [art] holy, [O thou] that inhabitest the praises of Israel. (Psalm 22:3, KJV)
From the Strong's Concordance, this is basically saying:
The Lord (inhabits) sits down with, dwells with, remains with, and/or stays, where "adoration and thanksgiving" is paid to Him (brought before Him, as a sweet fragrance). While worshipping Him, do we not experience His presence? Of course we do. And why is that? Because the Lord is drawn to hearts that adore Him. Again, He remains and/or stays where He is worshipped and adored. That tells me He is both blessed by, and desires, our adoration. To that I say, AMEN!